Village Praxis: Man-Skills and Basic Tools by Bill Buppert

Publisher’s Note: You are reading a pre-Samizdat publication the Department of Fatherland Security says is an example of a “non-violent dissenter” in the USSA.

There is a reason the government has a vested interested in controlling and monetizing all “education” in America K-PhD. This is why you see so many urban hives using a pre-fabricated ballot measure to push the need for pre-school so they can press the indoctrination level closer to the infant stage.

The reason is crystal clear:

“The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.”
― Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

There is a reason your children go for a four(+) year non-STEM degree and in most cases leave college as Marxist space aliens devoid of critical thinking skills, the ability to use their hands in a trade and addicted to screens all their waking hours. Stewart Brand: “The sociologist Elise Boulding diagnosed the problem of our times as “temporal exhaustion”: “If one is mentally out of breath all the time from dealing with the present, there is no energy left for imaging the future.”

In other news:  A result of this thinking is the wholesale misapprehension that the police are your friends. They are not; they are the bloody spear-point of all political will. Every coproach on the beat [who the police beat?] is an armed Leninists in the end. They have one sole function: to threaten or employ violence to ensure that every human shambling on the tax plantation stays in line, obeys every edict chosen to be enforced that day and provided a calibrated feeder mechanism for the “just-us system” to keep the gulag system at capacity.

There is talk on the jungle telegraph of Antifa commies celebrating the 4th of November by rioting or killing. Fascinating that choose the same day in 1921 that Hitler created his precious thugs in the SA. Why not choose the 5th of November to commemorate the Gunpowder Plot?

I would also suggest that the communist is not only the enemy of humanity but an existential threat to every man, woman and child on the tax plantation. They are weaponized drones of state aggression from the starting blocks.

Resist. Rinse. Repeat. –BB

“We are convinced by things that show internal complexity, that show the traces of an interesting evolution. Those signs tell us that we might be rewarded if we accord it our trust. An important aspect of design is the degree to which the object involves you in its own completion. Some work invites you into itself by not offering a finished, glossy, one-reading-only surface. This is what makes old buildings interesting to me. I think that humans have a taste for things that not only show that they have been through a process of evolution, but which also show they are still a part of one. They are not dead yet.”

– Stewart Brand, How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built

Isaac Davis (1745 – April 19, 1775) was a militia officer in the American Revolution. Davis led the first attack on the British Regular army during the American revolutionary war, and was the first to die in that battle.

He was captain of the Acton Minutemen, and his men were possibly the best-trained and equipped militia in New England. A gunsmith, he provided every man with a cartridge box to aid in rapid fire and a bayonet for hand-to-hand combat. His company assembled twice weekly for drills and marksmanship.

Books are the most valuable resource next to tools to remake the world that is collapsing around us. I indexed the Dan Forrester Memorial Library here. [I updated and added Stewart Brand’s list of 70 essential books on that post.]

A Note on Selecting Quality Tools

My wife refers to me as “un-handy-man” (my superhero name) for good reason but nonetheless, I have had to occasion using tools and managed to accumulate a mostly useful collection for both home chores and minor gunsmithing [Skip, the Village Armorer, will be scribbling a basic gunsmithing tool-set essay soon]. Fortunately, the modular nature of AR platforms and Glocks makes home ‘smithing rather easy.

I have been a Stewart Brand tool aficionado since an early age but unfortunately matched by an innate talent to be an artist with my hands nor have terrific spatial relationship skills.

Tools should not be an expendable item. Your spending is limited by your fiscal imagination.

With the coming Endarkenment, the collection and acquaintance with the use of tools will pay many dividends.

I recommend paying more upfront for a quality item than buying a cheaper tool over and over again due to breakage. That being said, “used” does not always equate to cheap. Due to sine waves in home construction, many high-quality, “name brand” tools are available in pawn shops and second-hand through garage sales, craigslist, and the classified section of your newspaper. I highly recommend checking the second hand market first before purchasing new. Some items may be worth the retail price- Used saw blades may be dull, and therefore unsafe, and while one can spend some quality time with a mill file sharpening them, it may be worth it to you to buy new.

And I highly recommend a sliding drawer toolbox that is twice the size you think you need.

As far as selecting hand tools, one can easily tell the difference between a well made tool and its cheaper cousin. For example, hold a Craftsman or Snap-On wrench in one hand and a cheap Wall-of-China-Mart wrench in the other. You will notice the difference in weight. Such a difference could be due to the material types (steel vs. aluminum) or that the cheaper tool is thinner and made with less material to save costs in manufacturing. Hand tools should fit comfortably in your hand, have a corrosion resistant finish such as chrome, and have a certain heft due to the robustness of their construction.

That being said, imported does not necessarily mean poorly made. See the tool in person; ask your friends and do some research before making an investment. I do not buy from Sears and think the Craftsman brand has been shit for years. You can pay half the cost for the same life time warranty at Lowes and Home Depot. I have had a good experience with the Lowes Kobalt brand, which are made in China and a disappointing experience with a set of “Made in the USA” Stanley screwdrivers.

Tool List- The basics

Safety Equipment

Safety glasses

Leather or Kevlar gloves

Hearing protection

Hand Tools

A set of flat head and Philips head screwdrivers

A set of combination (box and open end) wrenches

A set of socket wrenches

A set of hex keys

Mill File

Round file

A 16-ounce claw hammer

Utility knife (plenty of blades)

Carpenters Pencil- the flat shape keeps it from rolling away.

Vise grips



Pliers- both fixed joint and needle nose


Wire strippers

Extra: Tool belt. All of the items above, except the wrench sets, hex keys, saws and files (files should be stored in their packaging in a tool box or drawer), can be comfortably carried in a tool belt. Having these commonly used items in a tool belt means less trips up and down ladders, into the garage or away hunting for a #2 Philips screw driver.

Measuring and Layout (You are only as good as your measurements. I would gladly pay more for quality measuring equipment than almost any other tool)

16 or 25ft tape measure

Speed square

Carpenter’s square

Combination square

Spirit level- the longer the level, the more accurate the reading. A 3-4 foot length is probably good for most tasks

Plumb bob

Extras- feeler gauges, dial caliper, 100 ft tape measure, chalk lines,

Power tools (Cordless versions cost more and unless you have a bank of batteries, your battery will run out in the middle of a task)

Power drill and bits

Circular saw with a 7 ¼” blade. Recommend buying both rip and cross cut blades. Smaller blade sizes are available, but are not nearly as efficient.

Jig saw- somewhat optional but cuts curved lines faster than a hand coping saw and is less expensive than a bench top or stand alone band saw

Compound Miter Saw- again an optional purchase, but makes angled cuts and compound angled cuts a breeze. Recommend a 10” or larger blade.

Belt Sander

Random orbital sander

Extras- hammer drill, dremel tool, router

Shop Equipment

Good LED lighting

A good stable work bench with a vise

A pair of saw horses

A rolling tool box or boxes to protect and organize your tools

C-clamps- 4” and 6”

Extension cords (heavy gauge in 25- and 50-ft lengths)

Surge protector/ power strip

Extras- Bench grinder, air compressor, shop vac for dust collection/ clean up

A note on shop set up:

I come from military background. After working in those environments, I believe that a good workshop is clean, well lit and organized. An unorganized shop is a time vampire as you have to hunt to find where you left a particular tool or part and an unclean or dark workshop is a safety hazard. I find it is not conducive to quality work when you cannot see your measuring equipment or markings.

One can get more done in a small basement, garage or outbuilding that is clean, well-lit and organized vs. a large, dark working area that has tools scattered about. If you are setting up your first shop or wanting to reorganize your current one, take the time to plan. I recommend measuring your working area and use graph paper to plan out how your shop will be set up. You will be surprised of how you can maximize space by planning ahead and minimize time spent looking for stuff by planning where tools, material and equipment will be stored. If you have a large shop with lots of bins, tool chests and racks, a label maker will make your life easier as you can label what is in each drawer, rack and bin. This also helps when you are under the sink keeping the water in the pipes and you’ve sent the youngling to get a 1” wrench; it assists in them coming back with the right item and not a Sawzall (although I found these to be the superior mesquite killer over a chainsaw).


Wood Glue


Liquid Wrench


Machine oil

Pin punches

Center punch

Nail sets (for driving nails flush without leaving a hammer mark on the wood’s surface)


Now that we’ve outlined a basic list, some of you may be wondering how to acquire these without dropping an absolute ton of money. As we mentioned before, second hand sources definitely help alleviate the cost. I’ve personally acquired much of what I have on a task by task basis. For example, I purchased a compound miter saw when installing crown molding in my house and then used it for wood flooring and back deck projects. I recommend factoring the cost of tools needed into a project’s estimate. Some tools should almost always be rented though- Unless you plan on starting a tile business, it is more cost effective to rent a tile saw rather than buy one. I do recommend buying certain things as sets, such as wrenches, because without a doubt, once you’ve individually bought  1/4″, 1/2″, 3/4” and 1” wrenches, you will need a 7/16″ wrench to repair something critical at 11 o’clock at night.

This is not a comprehensive list but a departure point and I have asked some of my more shop-savvy readers to weigh in and add their additions in the comments section. This is just the most basic list to be amended by my readers in the comments section.

A parting thought- How many trips to Home Depot does the average project require?

Just one more…

“The satisfactions of manifesting oneself concretely in the world through manual competence have been known to make a man quiet and easy. They seem to relieve him of the felt need to offer chattering interpretations of himself to vindicate his worth. He can simply point: the building stands, the car now runs, the lights are on. Boasting is what a boy does, because he has no real effect in the world. But the tradesman must reckon with the infallible judgment of reality, where one’s failures or shortcomings cannot be interpreted away. His well-founded pride is far from the gratuitous “self-esteem” that educators would impart to students, as though by magic.”

Matthew B. Crawford, Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work


22 thoughts on “Village Praxis: Man-Skills and Basic Tools by Bill Buppert”

  1. PB Blaster is a better penetrating oil than liquid wrench- since we have 6 daughters and between them there is exactly one son in law that can repair cars, I spend far too much time wrenching on cars.

    Another great penetrating oil- Mix acetone and Dexron transmission fluid 50-50. I keep some in a small spray bottle, and some in a plastic squeeze bottle like ketchup and mustard used to be kept in at diner type restaurants.

    The stuff works great.

    Third good penetrating oil is 3-in-one brand.

    If you are going to be working on cars and trucks you need C-clamps bigger than 6″ as well. Plus a breaker bar for sockets and some assorted lengths of 1/2″ black pipe to use for more leverage on nuts or bolts that won’t crack loose. Air impact wrench and air cut off tool make life easier too.

    As far as power tools-sawzall, table saw, bandsaw, and router are very useful and save tons of time.

    16 oz hanmers are a joke- get a minimum of a 20oz framing hammer, not a claw hammer. I use a 22oz Estwing framing hammer most often. Tool belt is a requirement.

    Snips both aviation type and the larger type used to cut siding and flashing are another requirement.

    A cats paw type nail puller and a flat bar, along with longer pry bars/ crow bars are necessary things to have as well.

    Bar clamps are another requirement, as are a set of pipe clamps for 1/2″ steel pipe and 2 10 ft lengths of black steel 1/2″ pipe.

    I keep several pairs of pipe in different lengths to make things easier to work with.

    Propane torch plus bottle of MAPP gas, along with emery cloth, plumbing solder and flux for plumbing repairs.

    I work on houses for a living, used to frame houses for a living as well.

    Trips to Home Depot for project- as long as it all fits in 1 load then one trip- with the exception of plumbing in my case that’s 3-4 trips.

    Okay- I rambled on more than long enough.

  2. Having worked all my life with tools I think I am qualified to answer some basic questions. the first being that in the future there may be no electrical power. therefore select hand tools of great quality that do not need the power. The artisans of old performed every task with sharp intelligent tools with a minimum of labor. It was a labor of love that added to the task. Heading for eighty does not mean that I love my tools less, just that I have more respect for those that came before me and will endure long after I am gone.

    1. Agree completely. Between my brother and I we have all of our grandfathers and great grandfathers hand tools. That includes 2 man saws for cutting trees, assorted hand saws, hardwood miter boxes and a lot of great grandfathers blacksmith tools.

      My great uncle has the forge, which he has updated and rebuilt. He’s north of 80 now and our cousins aren’t interested in the forge, so it will be getting moved from his house in the Pa mountains to one of our houses in Ohio.

      As long as the old saws and bits for the brace are kept rust free and sharp, it’s amazing how fast you can make things using only old hand tools.

  3. It is a real shame that it is a dying art. I was able to get a few interested, but their interest waned after they completed a few tables, beautiful as they were, they were still only a start.

    My blacksmith shop is still pretty complete but gathering dust. Without interest everything will fade away only to be replaced in the future at great expense.

    1. Yeah, it is a shame. One bright spot for me- kid who was my laborer has set up complete wood shop and is making some great pieces of furniture. Some done all with hand tools.

  4. Pingback: Buppert: Village Praxis – Man-Skills and Basic Tools | Western Rifle Shooters Association

  5. I’ve had a blacksmith shop since the 80’s. A smithy is the resource that is basically the tool to make the tools which work with or without the availability of grid power.

    The world is chock-a-block full of useful raw materials that a competent blacksmith can turn into tools, from shovels to auger bits, knives to tomahawks. A car is a gold mine of materials with can be reforged, cast, swedged, alloyed, upset and drawn into anything you could want. Flat old leaf springs are an excellent edged weapon carbon steel. Many aluminum alloy engine components are A355-56 alloy, a heat resistant very high tensile/yield strength alloy suitable for the most rugged castings. Copper wires can be smelted and alloyed with tin and zinc to make bronze or brass alloys, many cars use a 4130 chromemoly type alloy in their crash bar/crumple sections now to save weight, make great shovel stock, even plastic parts can be chopped into small kernels, melted and formed in basic vacuum forms, there is no waste on a vehicle, and those babies will be abandoned everywhere in grid down. A coal forge is suitable to crucible smelt various metals. Don’t have coal? Charcoal is a splendid fuel. I ran my first forge on home made charcoal cook in a 55gal drum. The Japanese use charcoal to forge their stunning Damascus steel samurai blades. Hardwood charcoal is an excellent fuel for forge welding, sulfur free, it is essentially a high carbon coking fuel. A forge needs no grid power to run either. If it all really drops in the pot, a blacksmith will be one of the most valuable community/tribe assets around.

    Many mass produced items today can only be fabricated using today’s industrial methods. As those item are depleted, broke lost etc, the massed produced 22nd century items will be no more, and the 21st century methods will be the only way to manufacture useful things. A very much overlooked subject. There’s a reason why 18th thru 19th-century hand craft cast, forged, machined, swaged, stamped etc items look like they do and function as they do. Why they last, why they are robust and repairable.

    Form follows function in handcraft manufacturing of metal products.

  6. A man can start a blacksmith shop with an anvil, a hammer, a coal forge, a bucket of water, a quantity of coal or charcoal, a simple manual bellows, some scrap metal, and make almost anything he needs to expand his forges capabilities.
    Plain old 40 Mule Team Boraxo found in the laundry detergent section is an excellent flux for smelting, forge welding and protecting various metals from heat scale. Stock up, its cheap and a little goes a long way.
    Sand and investment casting processes have essentially remained unchanged thru centuries. This is another process which dovetails perfectly with a blacksmith shop.

    With an abundant supply of fuel, coal or charcoal, one can produce some of the most advanced alloys known, from so called crucible alloys to carbon nano tube tool steel called Wootz, which was first made and used for excellent weapons in ancient Persia thousands of years ago.
    If you have suitable access to a stream/creek/river you can build a water powered mill, of course your smithy shop can produce the metal components required in its construction. Its how we did things for centuries till mass production.

    Who is going to make the stills to make liquor, essences of various plants, pure water for other processes? A blacksmithy. How about shovels, axes, picks, knives swords, arrow points?

    Nails? Screws? The screw drivers and hammers. The blades for harrows to turn soil? Sickles to cut hay to feed the animals winter food that do the work or supply food? The shoes they need, bridles, yokes etc.
    A valve casting for your spine water cistern? Or ram pump parts? Cast iron pots & pans?
    Think about it. A simple blacksmith shop is a pretty darn good tool and investment.

  7. Lots of boomers accumulated lots of tools. My 93 year stepfather passed as he was building an experimental aircraft. Left us a solid workbench. A vice that is U.S. made and takes two to move. Replaced a broken Craftsman socket with their Chinese version. Yes, replacement batteries for cordless are as expensive as an entire new cordless drill. Add a set of adjustable wrenches, gorilla glue, and duct tape. Some brass roll pins with nylon hammer (to replace that old fuel pump ?).

    Acquire some old reloading equipment, great hobby and you might need it.

  8. Love this. what I think? The way I did this: bought what was needed used (few exceptions) except power tools. in the case of edged blades, I bought ten knives if various shapes, designs, lengths. all used and in bad shape. while riding my bike I find lots of tools on the roadside too. all are shiney and sharp now. shovel, same about ten. I never have to go far to find one. didn’t see this but epoxy is awesome vs glue. easy to use, never lets go. didn’t see LARGE scissors. like the kind that goes thru sheet metal no problem. Tractor supply is where I got mine. same drill bits, not one set, 5. different sizes and overlap but the small ones you will break or lose. handsaws, got many that ppl just gave me. I restored all of them. used up to 1500 grit to get the smoooothness just right. didn’t see bastard file in there. and very small rounded and / or flat files. those good for hand saw blades, firearms. duct tape is from heaven. 4 lb sledge is way more useful than all of my various full sized sledges.

    I have a min of two of everything. too much to even begin to list. paid very little for most of it. add all the power stuff for the good times while the power is on and gas is avail.

  9. Yankee push drill. Egg beater drill. Gimbals, brace and bits. Planes. Chisels in all sizes, stones and strops to keep them sharp. Bench knives. Hammers other than a 16oz claw mentioned- 8oz ballpeen, 24oz ball peen, 3 pound drilling, hand sledge in 4 pound range with extra long handle, 8 or 10lb sledge hammer. (all hammers should have hardwood handles, which can be replaced far more easily than a fiberglass one.)

    Optivisor, magnifying glass, jeweler’s loupes. Axes, hatchets, etc. An oxy-acetylene outfit.

    The list is practically inexhaustible. Purchase with an eye to possible having to repair it yourself, should it go down. All the more reason to buy the best you can afford from the outset.

  10. Don’t forget sickles, scythes, and other vegetation cutters, and the appropriate stones and tools, if such is a necessity in you AO.

  11. Great article, and good place to start. I was there 20 years ago. I’m building a log home using hand tools and trees I cut and moved myself after learning how to weld. I have a 1967 ford 3000 diesel tractor. The old guy across the street taught me to weld, and I store tools there. We borrow tools from each other. With his pacemaker, he can’t weld anymore, so I welded a step on his 1955 John Deere to help him get up on it, and a new hitch on his portable log splitter. For the log home, I’m using triple blocks that I made myself and lifting poles installed by a bunch of guys from church to lift my logs. It’s all handmade and pinned together with rebar. I’m 15′ off the ground, with 5 or 6 feet left to go (two story home). Still have to get my 7,000 lb 60 foot oak ridge pole out of the woods (still growing), but as we say in the south, ‘git-r-dun’. I made it my rule many years ago that if the tool was less than a hundred bucks, it made more sense to spend the money to get it than to call a professional. I fix all my own vehicles, and rebuild their engines. Just finished putting a new clutch in my 1979 f150 4×4. Over the years, I’ve learned how to be a plumber, electrician, framer, roofer. This cabin allowed me to add skills like surveying, excavation, concrete work, etc. I bought a sawmill for $2k after I figured out that I can make my own rafters out of logs- this will save me $6k on the roof because 24 4×12’s at 26 feet each cost $300 a piece. Or I can make them with my sawmill for free. It’s not rocket science, it’s about being curious and willing to try something new.

  12. WD-40, vise grips, and some duct tape. Any man worth his salt can do half the household chores with just those three things.

    – Walt Kowalski

  13. I have a little farm and love it. Throughout my life I have done every building trade for myself or my friends. I have worked on vehicles because I used to be poor boy, but even though I could pay a mechanic now, I prefer to do my own work. The one thing my father left me, that was the legacy of my granddad, was the attitude not to be scared to learn how to do something new yourself. I’m not sure that many have that attitude any more! Learning to weld now. Lots of fun! At 48 years old, I finally have most of the tools I want, and have them organized the way I want them. God be praised!

    1. Ghost, great point. We’re just boys, until we have a good loving woman in our lives. Mines been with me thru thick and thin for 35 years now.

      She is my rock, she is my port, when I’m in a storm.


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